Getting Back on the Horse

Hello, hello readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve written something for you guys. Still love you though. That’s good, right? Something about love in the distance and the heart growing fonder and tandem suicides. Wait, what? That escalated quickly. Getting back on track now…..

As always, even when I disappear it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading. Actually, I’ve been insanely productive with my reading, I’m up to seven books this month alone. Part of it is that I found a really comfortable reading that pulled me along, but really I’m just cramming books in before I start grad school and lose my soul. I’ll make a post for everything I’ve read, novels and graphic novels.

My next post will be Florida, but after that I’m going to be scaling down on the Destination posts to focus on other books. I’ve a TBR that will not be denied and I’m constantly finding new books to read. They usually don’t fit in with the challenge, but I’d still like to share them with you guys (RE: I love you). So, I’m changing up the format, posting books as I read them and posting a Destination per month or posting them out of order in response to the books I’m picking up. I still haven’t decided, you guys are definitely welcome to comment and/or make suggestion.

In other news, I’m going to England for a week in November! I’m excited to be going back, even if it’s just for a little bit. I had such a great time when I was there last year. I’ll be heading to Brighton this time. Again, if you have any suggestions of things to do while I’m there (especially bookish things!) don’t hesitate to send them my way. I’m still figuring out the details, but so far it’s looking pretty promising!

As far as blogging goes….

what-do-we-do-when-we-fall-off-the-horse-o

Riding something has never felt so good. What? *Shrugs* I couldn’t help myself.

See you Monday, readers!

New Things Are New

Hello, hello readers!

I’ve pulled another disappearing act on you guys, proclaim me Houdini and call it a day. I’m sorry though. Life, you know? Anyway, I return to you bearing tidings and good news! Or just news in general. I’m going to share them in a handy little list, because who doesn’t like lists? A lot of people actually.

1. The students at my university have declared a 72 hour strike following a general assembly today. Aside from al the things that might mean politically and how it might affect the semester, right now it means that I have 2 weeks free. We have spring break scheduled for next week. In light of these events, I’ve decided to have myself a little reading marathon this weekend. Maybe another 24 in 48 type of marathon or perhaps just a 24 hour reading binge. Maybe I’ll just pick a set amount of books for the weekend. The possibilities are endless! Still, that’s happening this weekend, so stay tuned!

2. I mentioned Short Story Thursdays in my last post, while sharing a music video. Essentially, SST sends out an email every Thursday with a short story about a forgotten author, accompanied with some colorful commentary by the guy who runs the organization. He’s the drummer in the music video, it all comes around. Circle of life, baby. Anyway…. I’m thinking of writing a a post about each story as it comes out. This means a post will be coming out on Thursdays with my take on that week’s story. If you want to subscribe to the emails (and you really should!), just send a message to shutyourlazymouthandread@shortstorythursdays.com. It’s that simple.

3. Speaking of new additions, I’m also coming up with something for Fridays. As of two weeks ago we ended the Alphabet Soup series, so I figured something new was in order for Fridays. I’ve been (re)watching Gilmore Girls for the millionth time and remembering how much I’ve always loved the concept of their Friday Night Movies – an indecent amount of snacks, take out, and a bunch of movies. With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a Friday Night Movie series! I’m still working out a few things with it or with how I want to organize it rather. So, the first post might go up this week or at the very latest the next.

4. I’ve FINALLY picked a book for Arkansas! Which means sometime next week I’ll be returning to my running reading challenge – Around the World in 250 Books. #Excitement

5. This isn’t news, but I think you guys are awesome. You’re probably fun and funny and all sorts of other adjectives. I’m happy you come around and read the stuff I write.

Those are all the updates I have for you guys today. I’m excited with all these new things, hope you are too! Or if not excited, at least mildly interested. (Humor me.)

Until next time, readers!

#24in48: Final Thoughts

Greetings, readers!

It’s the Monday after the #24in48 Readathon! My plan was to post something yesterday marking the end of the marathon and the 24 hours of reading. Unfortunately, my best friend and I burned out at around hour 19-20. The break between the first day and the second sucked out all our energy. Having said this, I don’t regret participating, even for a second! It was a fun way to get some solid reading done.

I read Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older, which is the sequel to his Half-Resurrection Blues. It was light, fun reading that took me longer to read than I expected it too. Because I read so much, I tend to think I read faster than I do. I’m always kind of surprised when I remember that I actually read pretty slowly!

I also read Palacio by Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón, a Puerto Rican author who happens to be my best friend’s brother. We’ve been friends for about four years and the book had already been published by the time we met. Every time it came up that I still hadn’t read it there’d be a whole “shame on you” moment. Because he’s her brother sure, but also because he’s an excellent writer. And, really, shame on me for having waited so long! It was a good book with interesting imagery and unexpected metaphors.

My third book for the marathon was actually a play, August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. I didn’t know it was a play when I picked it up, so that was a bit of a surprise. I hadn’t read a play in so long that for a few minutes I wasn’t even sure how to go about it. Things clicked as I kept reading and it turned out to be a really gratifying experience! This is actually my pick for Omaha, so I’ll be writing a more in depth post about it later.

Part of the reason I burned out was that after the play, I wasn’t quite sure what to read. I tried a few books, but I couldn’t get into any of them and it drained my reading energy even more. After an extended break though, I picked up Sergio’s second novel Dicen que los dormidos about a guy who gets shot multiple times “by accident” which lands him in a coma and the fallout of it all. It’s an exploration of violence in Puerto Rico. I’m about halfway through and enjoying myself. I’ll probably finish it today, actually!

There are things I’d do differently if I were to participate again. I chose to read many small books, rather than sticking with one large book for the duration. The truth is, having to settle into a new story every few hours was distracting and contributed to my burning out. Had I stuck to one large book, I think the consistent plot line would’ve had a better chance of keeping me on until then end. If, for some reason, short books is all I have to read then meticulously curating the list will be a must.

Also, I think I’d rather try my hand at reading continuously for a full 24 hours, rather than breaking it up into two days. I thought I’d appreciate the chance to sleep and feel relaxed, but that actually worked against me. I think the energy needed to keep reading from midnight to midnight would keep me more excited and centered on the challenge.

It was still a good experience, though. My best friend and I loaded up on snacks, shared things that were happening in our books that surprised, scared, or grossed us out. Plus, I’m honestly really happy with the reading I got done. I think had I not burned out I would’ve finished Sergio’s novel and probably had time for a fifth book! It almost makes me want to set aside a day every month to read for 24 hours straight! I just might do that…*Cue suspense music*

Stay tuned because on Wednesday we return to Texas for a look at my newest pick! Until next time, readers.

11 O’Clock News

I have an announcement! I will be joining this year’s #24in48 Readathon!

Here’s how Rachel, the creator of the readathon, describes it:

Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.

And that’s it. The format never changes but it’s always an adventure.

Adventure is definitely a good way to describe it. I’ve never done a reading marathon, so I’m excited to participate! It’s the perfect opportunity to get some reading done before the semester starts.

If you’re interested in participating, head over to the 24in48 website to sign up! If you’ve done the challenge before, let me know! I’d love to hear the experiences you guys have had with it!

I can’t wait!

 

Book Introduction: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Hello Monday readers! We’re back to our original schedule. Posting at night feels weird and has completely thrown me off my writing schedule, so I decided to return to my original posting hours. Now, on to business.

We’re finally ready to talk about our next book! I was a bit spoiled for choice when it came to choices for Colorado, but I settled on The Dog Stars because it had a touch of the post apocalyptic which I really enjoy. I know my Wyoming pick, Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem, was also in that vein, but I couldn’t help myself. The Dog Stars, written by Peter Heller, follows a man who’s survived a massive illness that decimated most of the population. Nine years later, all that’s left is a handful of survivors scattered around, including him, his dog, and the man he shares an airport with for mutual protection.

Initially, getting into the book was a bit difficult. Hig, our main character, tells us he suffered from very high fevers that nearly killed him, instead they fried his brain. This means his thoughts and, therefore, what you’re reading ends up being pretty disjointed and fragmented. There were times when I had to go back and reread a paragraph a few times in order to understand what he was saying. Once you get used to it though, it’s easier to follow his train of thought. And Hig thinks a lot, he thinks about the past, about what it means to kill people, about getting used to it. He thinks about his dead wife and talks mostly to his dog, Jasper.

The book feels gritty in a sweet way, because there are all these terrible things happening or that happened, but Hig remains almost innocent. His main concern is always Jasper’s welfare, which is closely followed by taking care of families that live close by who are too sick to do much of anything. He visits, always keeping his distance so as to not get sick, and delivers vegetables, helps fix things. Bangley, his end of the world companion, is the complete opposite of him. Bangley believes in killing everyone that isn’t him and Hig, he doesn’t believe in doing anything that isn’t conducive to their survival and seems to take delight in this new Survivor status that the world has forced him into.

So far I’m halfway through the book and I’ve already cried at least once, that I can remember. There’s a lot of sadness in these pages. I feel like lately there’s been a lot of that going on in the books I’ve been reading lately, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s like an emotional purging without having to contemplate your own issues. I’m aware that stinks of denial and repression, but after crying for so many characters I feel absolutely relieved. It’s great therapy, if you ask me. But you haven’t, so I’ll keep talking about the book.

I’m not quite sure where this book will end. Hig is determined to find a survivor that isn’t infected. There’s a possible Elk shadow that keeps popping up in different places, so this mythical Elk might play a part later. Who knows?

I’ll let you know what happens. I promise. Keep it cool, readers. Until next time!

Destination: Wyoming

Destination Wyoming

Happy Monday, you guys! Hopefully you’re having a cracking afternoon, but probably not because it’s Monday. I feel your pain fellow sufferers! As you read this I’m probably at work, photographing a cooking class because my boss decided I know something about photography. That actually is quite far from the truth, but she insisted…

We’re in Wyoming! Leave me a comment if you were born in or lived there for any period of time. I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone from the Equality State, as it’s apparently known. It makes sense because it was the first state to give women the right to vote. Four for you Wyoming!

As I was searching for books set in Wyoming, I decided to branch out and see what else was out there. I was met by well known movies like Bridesmaids and Brokeback Mountain. On the other hand, I found some lesser known ones like Cannibal! The Musical. Out of the three I’ve only seen Bridesmaids, which leads me to believe I might be a bit behind on my movie watching….perhaps movie posts are in order? (cue suspense music). Seriously though, a musical about cannibals? It sounds terrible, but also like something I’m dying to watch…

Anyway, strange movies weren’t the only thing I found. I also found a video game in the works that will be set in the Wyoming Wilderness!

Titled Firewatch, the game follows this guy who has recently become a fire lookout. His only connection with the outside world comes in the form of a radio which he uses to keep in touch with his supervisor. Here’s the actual description of the game, taken from the website:

In Firewatch you play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio — and is your only contact with the world you’ve left behind.

But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

Firewatch is a mystery game, so there is definitely a small creepiness factor, but that just makes it all the better for me. This is definitely a game I’m looking forward to playing. The concept of the game seems interesting and the graphics look pretty cool, from what I’ve seen. Mind you I’m not an expert or a professional when it comes to these things, so I can’t give you any specific information about it.

 This is a screenshot taken from the game website. Doesn’t it look pretty?

Unfortunately, Campo Santo, the video game studio working on the game, hasn’t announced a release date. I read somewhere that it was due to come out in 2015, but that doesn’t seem likely. At least we have the trailers!

I was hoping that by some miracle the game would be out by the time we go to Wyoming, but alas, it’s not meant to be. Still, I’m pretty excited for this game to come out. It makes me want to spend hours playing video games, which means I might have to go find another game to play just to satisfy the craving.

What games are you guys playing right now? Any you’re really hooked on? Let me know! I’m always in the lookout for new games. Until next time, readers. Keep it cool!

Destination: Idaho

Destination graphic copy

Happy Monday everyone! We are officially back to the challenge. Let’s get some woo girls up in here! For those of you who don’t know I started a reading challenge in the summer called Around the World in 250 Books. The idea is to read one book per country, including each state in the US. The books are either written by someone who was born there or have strong ties to that particular place. I designed the book list to work almost as a road trip, starting in Alaska, moving down to Canada, then Utah, and now finally Idaho. As you can see it’s still early days, so I hope you’ll be inspired and join me in the challenge. =)

Last week I posted a reaction to Nicole Arbour’s video “Dear Fat People”. A few days ago I ran into the video below and I couldn’t help but post it! Filmed in Boise, Idaho, the video is about body positivity and the value of every body, regardless of size. What better way to kick off Idaho than watching Idahoans be supporting and loving?! Keep on rocking, Idaho!

Come back this Wednesday to find out which book I chose for Idaho! Stay golden, readers. Until next time!